Thursday, September 22, 2011

Irma Voth by Miriam Toews

Irma Voth. A Novel by Miriam Toews

Irma Voth starts out as a tiny spark in a small sheltered Mennonite community in Mexico. Irma has a sister, two brothers, a pregnant mother and an angry, controlling father.  Her father is not speaking to her because she married a Mexican boy against his wishes.  Irma is 19 and is trapped between a immature, drug dealing husband and her domineering father. 

  Irma's star begins to rise as a Mexican filmmaker and his film crew move in next door to make a movie and she is hired to be the translator.   Her errant husband is off on his own adventures and leaves Irma to fend for herself in the dark community that is her home.  Irma's defiant younger sister Aggie, has run away and it is up to Irma to take control of her destiny.

Irma Voth becomes a shooting star on a path to freedom but are we ever really free from our past?  Irma believes she has killed four people with her actions and that you must be prepared to die.  The question is, if you are prepared to die, have you ever really lived?  Irma Voth prepares to live in the pages of a book with the same name.  As a reader I was drawn to Irma's secret struggles, and felt that she bared her soul and stood naked before her audience.

Miriam Toews writing is strong, raw, and philosophical.  I was immediately drawn to Irma Voth and couldn't put the book down.   Irma is a powerful female character on a quest of self-discovery.  I applaud Toews for a tale well told and look forward to reading more great books from her. 

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